Influence of organic fertilizers on the yield ... - Acta Agrophysica

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Influence of organic fertilizers on the yield ... - Acta Agrophysica

Int. Agrophysics, 2009, 23, 183-188

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ong>Influenceong> ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> on the yield, essential oil and mineral content ong>ofong> onion

A.A. Yassen 1 and Kh.A. Khalid 2

1 Department ong>ofong> Plant Nutrition,

2 Department ong>ofong> Cultivation and Production ong>ofong> Medicinal and Aromatic Plants,

National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt

Received October 23, 2008; accepted February 18, 2009

A b s t r a c t. Two experiments were carried out under sandy

soil conditions at the experimental station ong>ofong> the National Research

Centre in Nubaria region during two successive seasons ong>ofong>

2006/2007 and 2007/2008 to study the productivity ong>ofong> onion

(Allium cepa L.) as influenced by different ong>organicong> manure rates

and sources. All ong>organicong> fertilizer treatments ie mixture ong>ofong>

farmyard and chicken manure, overcame the control treatment

(recommended NPK) and improved the vegetative growth

characters, essential oil, some ong>ofong> the main constituents ong>ofong> essential

oil and NPK contents.

K e y w o r d s: Onion (Allium cepa L.), ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>,

vegetative growth, essential oil and minerals

INTRODUCTION

Onion (Allium cepa L.) is a vegetable that is widely consumed

due to its flavouring and health-promoting properties.

It has been reported that onion extract can be a potent

cardiovascular and anticancer agent with hypocholesterolemic,

thrombolitic and antioxidant effects (Block, 1985).

Several antioxidant compounds, mainly polyphenols such

as flavonoids and sulphur-containing compounds have been

described in onion (Nuutila et al., 2003).

Proper fertility is important in onion production. Onions

require fertile, well drained, non-crusting soils, and are ong>ofong>ten

produced in muck soils. A slightly acid pH in the 6-6.8 range

is optimum. Onions require substantial amounts ong>ofong> nutrients.

Based on a yield ong>ofong> 36 ton ong>ofong> bulbs, the plants remove about

124, 22.5, and 135.5 kg, respectively, ong>ofong> nitrogen, phosphorus,

and potassium per hectare (Peirce, 1987). Nutrient

requirements vary with production location, variety, and soil

type, soil test recommendations should be used to determine

specific application rates for individual fields, since it is

important to avoid over fertilization with nitrogen or

*Corresponding author’s e-mail: ahmed490@gmail.com

phosphorus, as this will contribute to increased pest

problems. Excess nitrogen also causes onions to be more

susceptible to storage pathogens. Adequate potassium levels

are especially important in improving bulb quality and

storage life. Organic matter in the form ong>ofong> either barnyard or

green manure should be added to the soil (Ware and

McCollum, 1980).

Hornok (1980) indicated that NPK fertilization was not

only effective on the quantity ong>ofong> vegetative and generation

mass, but on the essential oil content ong>ofong> Anethum graveolens L.

(dill). Also Hussien (1995) reported that nitrogen fertilisation

had a strong effect on the dill essential oil constituents.

NPK fertilization and micronutrients increased the vegetative

growth and essential oil content ong>ofong> some medicinal

Apiaceae plants (Khalid, 1996).

Sandy soils in Egypt are characterised with poor nutrients

(including macro- and micronutrients) and unfavourable

environmental conditions which negatively affect

growth and productivity ong>ofong> vegetables including onion

plants (Abd-Allah et al., 2001). In addition, pollution with chemical

ong>fertilizersong> arose as an aim ong>ofong> health care, thus attempts

were made for solving problems ong>ofong> chemical fertilization,

and the ong>organicong> farming technique represents a move towards

an alternative system ong>ofong> agriculture (Abd-Allah et al.,

2001). Organic material, such as sheep and chicken manure,

improves soil physical properties (structure and aggregation)

and soil chemical properties (decrease soil pH, increase

cation exchange capacity and enhance most nutrients) that

are important for plant growth (Snyman et al., 1998).

Application ong>ofong> ong>organicong> fertilizer increased the biomass

yield ong>ofong> the main crop and total essential oil yields ong>ofong> davana

plant (Parakasa Rao et al., 1997). Marculescu et al. (2002)

© 2009 Institute ong>ofong> Agrophysics, Polish Academy ong>ofong> Sciences


184 A.A. YASSEN and KH.A. KHALID

revealed that the soil, with its content in macro and microelements

enhanced by the use ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>, plays an

essential role in the plants growing and development, in the

biosynthesis ong>ofong> ong>organicong> substances, also it can be noted that

the vegetative mass is rich and the amount ong>ofong> essential oil is

high in Chrysanthemum balsamita L. plant when using

ong>organicong> fertilizer. Khalid and Shafei (2005) indicated that

treatment ong>ofong> plants with different combinations ong>ofong> ong>organicong>

ong>fertilizersong> and its rates resulted in a significant increase in

growth, yield characters, essential oil and main components

ong>ofong> essential oil extracted from dill (Anethum graveolens L.).

Khalid et al. (2006b) reported that ong>organicong> farming increased

the vegetative growth, essential oil and mineral content

ong>ofong> Calendula ong>ofong>ficinalis L. (marigold) plants. Hussein et al.

(2006) revealed that ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> had a promoting influence

on most ong>ofong> vegetative growth parameters and accelerated

essential oil accumulation ong>ofong> Dracocephalum

moldavica L. (dragonhead). Applying ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>

improved vegetative growth characters, essential oil, some

chemical composition ong>ofong> essential oil, and phosphorous content

ong>ofong> Ocimum basilicum L. (sweet basil) plants (Khalid et

al., 2006a). Barker and Bryson (2002) reported that heavy

metal pollutants are not degraded during composting but

may be converted into ong>organicong> combinations that have less

bio-availability than mineral combinations ong>ofong> the metals, so

the pollution can decrease with ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>.

The main objective ong>ofong> the present investigation was to

study the effect ong>ofong> different levels ong>ofong> some ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>

on the yield, essential oil and metals content ong>ofong> onion

(Allium cepa L.) plants.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The two experiments were carried out on sandy soil

(85.8% sand, 11.8% silt, and 2.4 clay) at the experimental

station ong>ofong> the National Research Centre in Nubaria region

during two successive seasons ong>ofong> 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

Chemical properties ong>ofong> the soil were determined according

to Jackson (1973) and Cottenie et al. (1982) (Table 1).

Seeds ong>ofong> onion ‘Giza 6 improved’ were kindly produced

from Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Department, Ministry

ong>ofong> Agriculture, Egypt. Onion seeds were sown in the first

week ong>ofong> October during both seasons. The seedlings were

transplanted 70 days after sowing. Transplanting was done

in rows (2 per each ridge) with spacing ong>ofong> 10 cm in the row.

The experimental design was complete randomised blocks

with four replicates. The experimental area (plot) was 4 m 2

(2 x 2 m) containing 4 rows. The experiment included 7

treatments representing different combinations ong>ofong> farmyard

manure (FYM) and chicken manure (CM), in addition

the control treatment (recommended chemical ong>fertilizersong>),

as follows:

1. Control or recommended NPK = 146.4 N ha -1 :

73.19 P 2 O 5 ha -1 : 48.8 K 2 O ha -1 ,

2. 71.4 + 0,

3. 59.5 + 11.9,

4. 47.6 + 23.8,

5. 35.7 + 35.7,

6. 23.8 + 47.6,

7. 11.9 + 59.5, and

8. 0 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 71.4 m 3 CM ha -1 .

Chemical properties ong>ofong> the ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> applied

are presented in Table 2.

All agriculture practices operation other than the experimental

treatments were done according to the recommendations

ong>ofong> Ministry ong>ofong> Agriculture, Egypt.

At harvesting stage, the bulb fresh mass (g plant -1 or

kg m -2 ), bulb dry mass (g plant -1 or kg m -2 ) and bulb

diameter (cm) were recorded.

Fresh bulbs were collected from each treatment during

harvesting stage. They were dried by air and weighed to

extract the essential oil. Dry plant material (300 g) from each

replicate ong>ofong> all treatments was subjected to hydrodistillation

T a b l e 1. Chemical properties ong>ofong> the soil

Available

(mg g -2 )

Total

(mg g -2 )

Soluble anions

(Cmol c )

Soluble cations (Cmol c )

EC

(dS m -1 )

pH

1. 2.5

P K N CO 3 HCO 3 Cl SO 4 Na Mg Ca

9.30 16 45 - 2.79 5.81 2.50 5.10 1.57 4.03

1.11 8.15

T a b l e 2. Chemical properties ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>

Contents

Farmyard

manure

Chicken

manure

O.M

EC N P K Fe Mn Zn Cu

(g kg -1 )

pH

(dS m -1 ) (g kg -1 ) (mg kg -1 )

32 7.3 4.3 1.65 0.51 1.8 1 625 245 181 18

21.2 7.4 3.71 2.59 0.74 2.2 1 136 320 204 35


ORGANIC FERTILIZERS VS. YIELD, ESSENTIAL OIL AND MINERAL CONTENT OF ONION 185

for 3 h using a Clevenger-type apparatus according to the

method ong>ofong> Dadalioglu and Evrendilek (Giray et al., 2008).

The essential oil content was calculated as g kg -1 . In addition,

total essential oil as ml plant -1 was calculated by using

the dry mass ong>ofong> the bulb. The essential oils extracted from

Allium cepa L. were collected from all treatments to identify

the chemical constituents ong>ofong> the essential oil.

Constituents ong>ofong> essential oil were determined by gasliquid

chromatography. The chromatograph (Model Perkin

Elmer 3920B) was equipped with a thermal conductivity

detector and 2 m x 0.3 cm column packed with 10% Carbwax

20M on 80/100 Chromsorb WAW and hydrogen was used

as the carrier gas at 0.5 cm 3 s -1 . The column temperature was

130°C and detector and injector temperatures were 200°C.

Constituents were identified by retention times and conjunction

with known structures.

Total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the bulbs

were determined using the methods described by the Association

ong>ofong> Official Agricultural Chemists (A.O.A.C. 1970).

The averages ong>ofong> data from the two seasons were statistically

analysed using analysis ong>ofong> variance (ANOVA) and

values ong>ofong> least significant difference (LSD) at 5% according

to Snedecor and Cochran (1990).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Data presented in Table 3 showed the response ong>ofong>

growth characters in onion plant to the different rates ong>ofong>

farmyard and chicken manures. The data indicated that all

ong>organicong> fertilizer treatments ie mixture ong>ofong> farmyard and

chicken manure, overcame the control treatment and

improved the vegetative growth characters. The highest

values ong>ofong> vegetative growth characters were recorded with

23.8 m 3 ha -1 farmyard manure + 47.6 m 3 ha -1 chicken

manure. This significantly overcame other treatments. It

could be concluded from the data that increasing the ratio ong>ofong>

chicken manure in fertilizer up to 47.6 m 3 ha -1 and

decreasing farmyard manure fertilizer up to 23.8 m 3 ha -1

improved the measurement ong>ofong> growth characters. Obtained

results agreed with those ong>ofong> Borin et al., 1987 and Brwaldh

(1992) who reported that ong>organicong> manure is a rich and a slow

release fertilizer, the usage ong>ofong> which leads to a clean product

ong>ofong> plants. They added that using ong>organicong> fertilizer improves

the soil texture. The structu- ral improvement can encourage

the plant to have a good root development by improving the

aeration in the soil, which leads to a higher plant growth.

Also the obtained results indicated the favourable effect ong>ofong>

chicken manure on onion plant productivity; this result

might be due to the role ong>ofong> ong>organicong> manure for continues

supply ong>ofong> nutrients which improve some physical properties

ong>ofong> soil and increase water retention than that for chemical

ong>fertilizersong> (Abd-Elmoez et al., 1995; 1996; Fliessbach et al.,

2000).

Data in Table 4 showed the response ong>ofong> essential oil

extracted from onion plant to the different rates ong>ofong> farmyard

and chicken ong>fertilizersong>. The data indicated that all ong>organicong>

fertilizer treatments ie mixture ong>ofong> farmyard manure and

chicken manure, overcame the control treatment and improved

the essential oil content. The highest values ong>ofong> essential

oil, g kg -1 or ml plant -1 , were recorded with 23.8 m 3 ha -1

farmyard manure + 47.6 m 3 ha -1 chicken manure, which

significantly overcame the other treatments, and the lowest

with control treatment in. Obtained results agreed with those

ong>ofong> Parakasa Rao et al., (1997), who reported that application

ong>ofong> ong>organicong> fertilizer increased total essential oil yields ong>ofong>

davana plant, and Marculescu et al., (2002), who revealed

that the soil, with its content in macro- and microelements

enhanced by the use ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>, plays an essential

role in the plants development, in the biosynthesis ong>ofong> ong>organicong>

substances at all levels, also it can be noted that, when using

manure, the amount ong>ofong> active principal (essential oil) is high

in Chrysanthemum balsamita L. plant.

T a b l e 3. Effect ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> on the vegetative growth characters ong>ofong> onion bulbs

Treatmnets Fresh mass Dry mass Diameter

(cm)

(g plant -1 ) (kg m -2 ) (g plant -1 ) (kg m -2 )

Control 102.33 2.05 52.4 1.05 5.4

71.4 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 0 m 3 CM ha -1 110.23 2.21 55.4 1.11 6.3

59.5 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 11.9 m 3 CM ha -1 114.6 2.29 60.9 1.22 6.8

47.6 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 23.8 m 3 CM ha -1 121.8 2.44 67.5 1.35 6.9

35.7 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 35.7 m 3 CM ha -1 125.6 2.51 71.6 1.43 7.56

23.8 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 47.6 m 3 CM ha -1 138.4 2.77 82.3 1.65 8.96

11.9 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 59.5 m 3 CM ha -1 111.2 2.22 57.3 1.15 6.3

0 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 71.4 m 3 CM ha -1 117.6 2.35 55.6 1.11 5.63

LSD (0.05) 2.11 0.05 1.14 0.02 0.19


186 A.A. YASSEN and KH.A. KHALID

T a b l e 4. Effect ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> on the essential oil content

extracted from onion bulbs

Treatments

Essential oil content

(g kg -1 ) (ml plant -1 )

Control 0.028 0.0029

71.4 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 0 m 3 CM ha -1 0.032 0.0035

59.5 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 11.9 m 3 CM ha -1 0.029 0.0033

47.6 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 23.8 m 3 CM ha -1 0.037 0.0046

35.7 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 35.7 m 3 CM ha -1 0.041 0.0051

23.8 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 47.6 m 3 CM ha -1 0.045 0.0057

11.9 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 59.5 m 3 CM ha -1 0.039 0.0043

0 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 71.4 m 3 CM ha -1 0.034 0.0040

LSD (0.05) 0.002 0.0001

Results in Table 5 reveal also an effect ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong>

on the chemical composition ong>ofong> essential oil extracted

onion bulbs. A quantitative comparison ong>ofong> the constituents

present with the ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> in the hydro-distilled

onion essential oil was performed. The identified components

and their percentages are given in Table 5. The variations

in chemical composition are important between the

treatments. The major components (more than 50 g kg -1 )

were 3,5-Diethyl-1,2,4-trithionale; 5,6-bDihydro-2,4,6-

triethyl-4H-1,3,5-dithiazine; Propyl 1-propenyl disulphide,

cis; and Propyl 1-propenyl disulphide, trans. All the treatments

ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> ie farmyard manure and chicken

manure, increased the major constituents ong>ofong> essential oil extracted

from onion bulbs compared with the recommended

chemical ong>fertilizersong> treatment.

The major constituents (less than 50 g kg -1 ) were:

– 6-Ethyl-4,5,7,8-tetrathiaundecane;

– Dihydro-6-methyl-2,4-diethyl-4H-5,6-1,3,5-dithiazine;

– 3.4-Dimethylthiophene;

– Methylpropyl trisulphide;

– 6-Ethyl-4,5,7-trithiadecane;

– 2,4,6-Triethyl-1,3,5-trithiane.

All the treatments ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> ie farmyard

manure and chicken manure, made different effects (increased

or decreased) on minor constituents ong>ofong> essential oil extracted

from onion bulbs. These results are in accordance

with those obtained by Farkas et al. (1992). The effect ong>ofong>

different treatments on essential oil and its constituents may

be due to its effect on enzyme activity and metabolism

(Burbott and Loomis, 1969).

The effects ong>ofong> ong>organicong> fertilizer (farmyard manure and

chicken manure) on N, P and K content and its uptake by

onion plant are shown in Table 6. The data show that the application

ong>ofong> different rates ong>ofong> ong>organicong> fertilizer gave a slight

increase in N, P and K content as compared to the control

(recommended chemical fertilizer). With respect to the

effect ong>ofong> farmyard manure and chicken manure at different

rates, the data declared that applying the two sources with

other gave increase in total N compared to farmyard manure

T a b l e 5. Effect ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> on the chemical constituents ong>ofong> essential oil extracted from onion

Treatments

No.

Components

(g kg -1 )

Control

71.4 m 3

FYM +

0 m 3 CM

59.5 m 3

FYM +

11.9 m 3

CM

47.6 m³

FYM +

23.8 m³

CM

35.7 m³

FYM +

35.7 m³

CM

23.8 m 3

FYM +

47.6 m 3

CM

11.9 m³

FYM +

59.5 m³

CM

0 m³

FYM +

71.4 m³

CM

1 3.4-Dimethylthiophene 20.0 21.0 21.0 18.0 21.0 16.0 17.0 24.0

2 Propyl 1-propenyl disulphide, cis 95.0 96.0 10.5 107.0 119.0 109.0 119.0 125.0

3 Propyl 1-propenyl disulphide,

trans

58.0 76.0 75.0 81.0 59.0 70.0 64.0 67.0

4 Methylpropyl trisulphide 21.0 18.0 20.0 28.0 25.0 33.0 35.0 26.0

5 3,5-Diethyl- 1,2,4-trithionale 262.0 28.0 291.0 295.0 316.0 413.0 320.0 292.0

6 Dihydro-6-methyl-2,4-diethyl-4H-

1,3,5-dithiazine 5,6-

7 5,6- b Dihydro-2,4,6-triethyl-4H-

1,3,5-dithiazine

22.0 25.0 26.0 29.0 25.0 20.0 29.0 24.0

89.0 109.0 112.0 123.0 116.0 110.0 97.0 107.0

8 6-Ethyl-4,5,7-trithiadecane 15.0 18.0 14.0 25.0 24.0 27.0 23.0 28.0

9 2,4,6-Triethyl- 1,3,5-trithiane 15.0 13.0 19.0 14.0 22.0 18.0 16.0 12.0

10 6-Ethyl-4,5,7,8-tetrathiaundecane 24.0 25.0 23.0 23.0 22.0 22.0 25.0 29.0


ORGANIC FERTILIZERS VS. YIELD, ESSENTIAL OIL AND MINERAL CONTENT OF ONION 187

T a b l e 6. Effect ong>ofong> ong>organicong> ong>fertilizersong> on the minerals content ong>ofong> onion dry bulbs

Treatments

N P K N P K

(g kg -1 ) Uptake (mg plant -1 )

Control 17.2 4.0 15.2 98.60 22.90 87.00

71.4 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 0 m 3 CM ha -1 16.9 4.1 16.9 93.60 22.70 93.60

59.5 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 11.9 m 3 CM ha -1 17.6 4.4 18.9 107.10 26.70 115.10

47.6 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 23.8 m 3 CM ha -1 17.8 4.5 17.4 102.20 30.30 117.50

35.7 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 35.7 m 3 CM ha -1 17.9 4.6 17.5 158.80 32.90 125.30

23.8 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 47.6 m 3 CM ha -1 19.3 4.8 17.7 188.16 39.50 145.60

11.9 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 59.5 m 3 CM ha -1 18.0 4.6 18.3 94.30 24.10 95.80

0 m 3 FYM ha -1 + 71.4 m 3 CM ha -1 12.2 3.4 13.9 67.80 18.90 77.20

LSD (0.05) 0.02 0.04 0.03 2.80 3.90 2.90

and chicken manure applied alone; the same trend was

observed in N uptake. A pronounced increase in N content

and uptake was noticed when farmyard manure at the rate ong>ofong>

23.8 m 3 ha -1 was combined with chicken manure at rate ong>ofong>

47.6 m 3 ha -1 . These results could be explained by positive

effect ong>ofong> farmyard manure and chicken manure on improving

nutritional status ong>ofong> soil. Also, due to rapid mineralization

ong>ofong> ong>organicong> matter. With regarded to P concentration

in plant, a pronounced increase in P was observed with

chicken manure, when compared with farmyard manure.

An increase in the value ong>ofong> potassium content was noticed

when we applied 59.5 m 3 ha -1 FYM+ 11.9 m 3 ha -1 CM

followed by 11.9 m 3 ha -1 FYM+ 59.5 m 3 ha -1 CM. In general,

the maximum NPK contents (g kg -1 and mg plant -1 )

were noticed when farmyard manure was applied at the rate

ong>ofong> 23.8 with 47.6 m 3 ha -1 chicken manure, as compared with

other treatments. These results are in accordance with those

obtained by Sadhu et al. (1996). They found that application

ong>ofong> ong>organicong> manure significantly increased nutrient content ong>ofong>

mustard and groundnuts crops.

CONCLUSIONS

1. Organic ong>fertilizersong> ie mixture ong>ofong> farmyard and

chicken manure, improved the vegetative growth characters

ong>ofong> onion plants.

2. Farmyard and chicken manure improved the chemical

compositions ong>ofong> onion plants such as essential oil, main

constituents ong>ofong> essential oil and NPK contents.

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